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Posts tagged ‘millenials’

Enhancing Your Best Assets: Generation Y

Today’s guest blog is courtesy of one of our summer interns, Marissa Beaudoin.

After reading a recent blog post about “optimizing your millennial employees” (and other countless articles and posts related to Generation Y), I can’t help but give my opinion on the matter. Not because of the constant bad reps they’re getting, or even the numerous stereotypes about their laziness and poor attitudes, but simply because I am one of them.

As an intern for a global software company, I’ve been exposed to the corporate world and more importantly, have worked with Generation Y my entire life. Sure, there are always going to be those who slack off, behave inappropriately in the workplace, and simply just make fools out of themselves, but isn’t that true of every generation?

In my current intern program, I’ve met the most intelligent, driven, and quite simply, good young adults. And while there are always going to be others who are not quite as hard-working, I truly believe that us Millennials have a lot to offer. So instead of complaining and focusing on your Generation Y employees’ weaknesses, I suggest harnessing their talents in order to be successful in the 21st century. Here are a few tips to make the most out of your younger workforce:

  1. Listen to them. Our generation is extremely talented, creative, and full of outside-the-box thinkers, so when you listen to what they have to say and give them opportunities to voice their opinions, you’ll be surprised at what they have to offer your company. Often times, managers continue with the same goals and strategies for decades since that’s all they’ve ever known; but if those ideas are challenged and new solutions are offered, the company can greatly benefit and grow.
  2. Learn from them. Particularly in terms of technology and social media, Generation Y knows a lot. Many times I personally think I don’t know much about technology or computers, but after working and interning in several different positions, I’ve realized that I know a lot more than others. So those younger employees that actually do claim to know a thing or two are most likely the experts.
  3. Give to them. Our generation is constantly receiving feedback in real-time, whether it’s receiving grades and feedback in class, or when we’re constantly being judged and critiqued by our peers. We are always reflecting on what we do and thinking about how we can improve. I can certainly attest to this, where I find myself ending every email and project with “Let me know if there’s anything I can add or change to this”.  While managers may be used to only giving end-of-the-year reviews, Millennials will be able to grow from constant feedback, be it constructive criticism or praise when appropriate.

 

 

Internships: Insight into the Future

Today’s guest blog is courtesy of one of our summer interns, Marissa Beaudoin.

1012827_10151807670131115_1501959386_nI once read that college graduates should approach finding a career the same way you approach finding a partner- the only way to find the right job is to go out on a lot of “dates” to try them out and see what they’re like.

For a lot of people, this means they will try out a bunch of different jobs, staying at each one for an average of less than four years. This concept of “job hopping” is a nightmare for employers, managers, and HR professionals because it means more hiring, more training, and more expenses. So naturally, the widespread goal is to retain employees so they don’t consistently need to be replaced, and this can be achieved by finding the right people for the job.

But how are people supposed to know what they want to do, especially when they’re straight out of college? As a 21-year-old college student entering my senior year at a small liberal arts school outside of Boston, I have a general sense of what career I would like to pursue. I have a marketing major and ideally would like to find a career in this field, but I’m not sure if this is what I am going to do for the next 40 years of my life. Did you know what you wanted to do with your life at 21? If so, is it the same thing you’ve done all throughout your professional career? Probably not.

So then, how can employers avoid this whole “job-hopping” thing if most people have no idea what they want to do after college? Should we cross our fingers and hope we’ve picked the right job and career? Take a miserable job and stay there until retirement? Simply just not get a job? No, no, and definitely no. The answer is internships.

By now, I’m sure we’ve all heard or read about the importance of internships and how they’re essential for getting hired after graduation. However, as an intern myself at Kronos, Inc., I’ve been able to better understand the things I’m good at, the things I’m not, and what I’m looking for in a job. So even if I can’t exactly say what it is I want to do with my life, my internship has definitely helped guide me in the right direction.

I’ve also learned that having an internship gives you the opportunity to experience a real-world working environment. You can’t teach students in a classroom how to contribute in meetings or communicate with your co-workers- these are the kinds of daily activities that seem so normal to people who have jobs, but for students who have never experienced them, they can be pretty overwhelming.

So many students can benefit from having an internship, and employers can greatly reap the benefits as well. By giving college students the opportunity to get real-world experience and help them narrow down what they want to pursue as a career, they can hire candidates well-suited for their jobs and avoid hiring new employees every few years. Kronos has certainly understood this concept, growing their internship from 20 interns a few years ago, to 54 this summer. And while I still am not 100% sure of what I’d like to do after May 25th 2014, I know I have a much better idea after my internship here this summer.

The View from the Ground Floor – Back to Work vs. Back to School

As the long Labor Day weekend beckons, many of us pause to reflect on our work, where we are in our careers, and how happy we are in our jobs.  I don’t know about you, but at this time of year I often experience vivid memories of what it was like to go back to school – new clothes, blank notebooks, endless possibilities for the year ahead.  In today’s post, our 0-1 year post college Marketing Specialists reflect on what it’s like to make the transition to the corporate environment for the first time.

Hello from the Ground Floor!

For the second installment in the series, we wanted to share some of our initial perspectives and first impressions of life in the working world.  We’re each going to take a paragraph or two to describe how the 9-5 life compares to our past experiences, and what we foresee for ourselves in the not-too-distant future.  And, as always, we want everyone to chime into the conversation.  If you’re just entering the workforce, what are your initial impressions?  What are you looking forward to?  What challenges do you expect?  And, if you’re more of a workforce veteran, what do you think of this influx of young new employees?  What do they need to work on, and what are they doing well?  As you’ll see in our perspectives below, anything is fair game.  Enjoy!

Jennifer Earls

Do you recall your first day at work after college?  I remember mine very well, because it was just a few days ago!  Sure, I have had part-time jobs and I have completed internships before, but this is not the same.  Starting my first job is actually a lot like when I studied abroad in Spain.  Once again, I’m the foreigner in a completely different world with its own set of norms and a new language.  Who wouldn’t be intimidated when their co-workers are carrying on full conversations solely in ambiguous acronyms, i.e., “FYI, I’ll need the RFP ASAP, preferably EOD, although the deadline is still TBD, OK?”  And, could somebody please translate the 401K plans into English?  Although entering the workplace has required many adjustments, e.g., going to bed at the same time as my parents again, I’m slowly getting acclimated to this new way of life.  And the smallest signs that I belong to this new place, such as wearing an office badge with my name and photo rather than the “temporary” one, receiving my first official business cards, and having fellow employees wave to me in the hallway thrill me because they remind me that I will find my place here.  I know that I have a lot to learn, but I also have plenty of room to grow.  As far as I can see, it is only up from here!

Kelley Kossakoski

When I entered college as a journalism major, I hoped that following the completion of my degree, I would become the next Natalie Jacobson (WCVB newscaster for 35 years and alumna of UNH – like me!) or Jackie MacMullan, (Boston Globe and Sports Illustrated columnist, and another UNH alum).   However, mid-way through my collegiate career, I realized that while I loved journalism, I did not want to actually be a journalist, and that instead, I wanted to work in marketing. Upon realizing this, I worried that I had made a critical mistake by choosing to specialize in something that I liked during college, and not specifically in a field that I wanted to enter following graduation.  I felt that I would be at a severe disadvantage by not having the words “marketing” on my diploma, and I wasn’t sure that employers were going to be interested in hiring someone who hadn’t taken classes that exclusively related to the responsibilities of a marketing job.

Happily, I have already found that having a major outside of your field doesn’t matter, so long as you have gained skills in college that are transferable, and that you have the capacity to gain experience and expertise successfully within a particular field.  Not only was I able to obtain a job in marketing, I am meeting people everyday in my department who, like me, did not major in marketing and also have worked in fields outside of marketing.  Within the marketing department here, there are former economists, sales representatives, writers, engineers, scientists, and financial analysts, and all of them have a greater base of knowledge and experience due to their varied educational backgrounds and previous jobs.  I’ve realized that you are not defined solely by what your title or major declares you to know, and instead, that it is what you learn along the way through your collegiate or professional journey and what you are passionate about, that defines what you do each day.

Greg Scott

Going from my first job (a company of 30 people) to my current job (a company of 3400 people) was, and still is, quite a culture shock.  Whether it’s wandering down the wrong cubicle aisle or finding out where the free coffee is, it seems that everyday there’s something different to learn about.  After a few weeks with the new job, here are few lessons that are helping me smooth out the job transition:
a)    Have a lot of conversations.  And by conversations, I mean listen.  I learned more about potential jobs from just listening than any website or job board.  Current and past employees can give you a point of view that you won’t get anywhere else.
b)    Be a people person.  You don’t have to be the life of the party (or meeting), but speak up when you can.  It can be hard to get involved at meetings and into the flow of conversation when you’re new, but at any company the employees are the most valuable resource for not only the bottom line but also for each other.  If you’re a little nervous or shy about speaking up (everyone is at times), ask a lot of questions and refer to back to the first suggestion.

What works for you?  Post a comment and let us know what you’ve done that has helped you enter the workforce or switch jobs early in your career.